Michelle Beadle Reportedly Leaving NBC Sports, Return to ESPN Possible

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2013

Apr 25, 2012; New York, NY, USA; ESPN SportsNation hosts Colin Cowherd (left) and Michelle Beadle during the Madden 13 cover unveiling on the set of SportsNation at Times Square.  Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Michelle Beadle, who rose to fame co-hosting SportsNation with Colin Cowherd on ESPN, could soon find herself back at the self-proclaimed "Worldwide Leader in Sports."

Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead reports Beadle, who is currently employed by NBC Sports, is in the process of leaving the network, with a return to ESPN possible. The news comes on the heels of her show, The Crossover, getting cancelled. 

The report states Sam Flood, the executive producer of NBC Sports and the NBC Sports Network, wasn't happy with remarks she made during a recent interview on the Sports Media Weekly podcast, causing the situation to bubble over:

Flood and Beadle had butted heads before in her 16 months at NBC–some producers at NBCSN sided with Beadle's thoughts that the network's vibe should feel younger, but Flood is an old-school type–but, sources say, this one sent him over the edge. Sources say Flood decided he'd had enough, and Beadle's show was getting scrapped. But instead of telling her first, he got word to Richard Sandomir of the New York Times that NBC was pulling the plug. Then, Flood called Beadle into a meeting, telling her the news.

Beadle won over a lot of fans during her time at ESPN due to her straight-talking approach, but it apparently didn't go over well behind the scenes at NBC Sports. She said a lack of promotion played a role in the show's struggles:

I love what we're doing now, but then again, I'm not an idiot. I realize we're on a network that is new and struggling and we don’t get a lot of promotion. So I kind of battle with that every day. Do I fight the good fight and promote the show on my own? Do I just give up and act like a whiny person? It's interesting, but we have such a good crew and they work hard.

After playing a key role in the network's Olympic coverage last year, The Crossover was slated as an opportunity to give her a chance to rebuild the fanbase she had during her time on SportsNation.

She remained popular on social media, with over 800,000 followers on Twitter, but that didn't translate to success for the NBC Sports Network show. Despite a change in format, it failed to pick up steam before getting cut from the lineup.

The Big Lead's report states Beadle's agent is working with NBC toward a deal that would end her days with the company, at which point a return to ESPN becomes the next likely step. Neither Beadle nor the network would comment on the report, however.

No mention is made of what type of role Beadle would play if she did return to ESPN.


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